The Boston Celtics have become a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. The team has risen through the ranks to become the 4 seed in the East. Despite their early-season struggles the team has come together as a team and found ways to win games. A boatload of credit goes to the first-time head coach in Ime Udoka who has done a fabulous job of establishing a culture in Boston. The Celtics blew out the Denver Nuggets and the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic today.
The Boston Celtics have become the best defensive team in the NBA this season. The clampdown defense was there for all to see today as the Celtics held the Nuggets to 104 points. Jokic was held to 23 points while only 3 other Nuggets could score in double digits. The Celtics were led by the 30 point performances from both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Payton Prichard (17) and Marcus Smart (13) were the only other Celtics in double digits.
The win brings the Celtics to within half a game of the 2 seed Milwaukee Bucks and 3.5 games behind the 1 seed Miami Heat. The battle in the Eastern Conference has been close throughout the season and will go down to the last game. Of the top 4 teams, any of them could end up with the 1 seed. Things do look good for Miami though as they just need to win enough games to keep the Bucks, the 76ers, and the Celtics at bay.
The loss against the Celtics is a huge blow for the Denver Nuggets. With the Minnesota Timberwolves right on their heels for that last playoff spot, the loss puts the Nuggets in a precarious position. If they lose out the 6 seed and fall to the 7 seed, they would have to win 1 of 2 Play-In games to get into the playoffs. Without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., it will be a huge load for Jokic to carry even if he is capable of it.